by Linda Lantor Fandel - DesMoines Register

ick just about any grade school and scroll down the staff list on its Web site. I randomly selected Clive Elementary in Windsor Heights, attended by about 400 students, where physical-education teacher Denny Barton is right at the top. But after that, just five of the 48 names are male. One is the principal, one is the custodian and the others are teachers.

It’s no surprise to educators that most teachers today are women. Most people, however, may not realize how much less male and more female teaching has become. In 1985-86, men made up 37 percent of Iowa’s public-school teachers, according to the Iowa Condition of Education Report. Last school year, men were just 27 percent.

Nationally, about 21 percent of teachers are men, a 40-year low, says the National Education Association.

The trend is troubling.

Not having gender balance in the classroom has repercussions for kids.